The opener – XI, Bart Goor

In 2000, Belgium and Netherlands became the first countries to organize a European Championship in tandem. And Belgium had the privilege to play the opening game. 2-1 with Sweden, on 10th of June looked like the ‘Red Devils’ can progress trough. In front of nearly 47 thousand people, at Brussels, Bart Goor was the man to bring the first drop of happiness for the home fans in the 43rd minute, when he scored for 1-0. But despite Belgium’s win, they did not qualify for the group stage after they lost both remaining matches against Italy and Turkey. Both 0-2! So, if we can’t make up a great story about Belgium’s achievement, let’s just talk about the one minute hero.

Born on 9th of April 1973, Bart Goor first appeared for the national side in 1999, at 26 years and in that same year he scored his first goal in an incredible friendly encounter against Netherlands, played on 4th of September an ended 5-5! From then and until 2008, Bart gathered 78 matches for Belgium and netted 13 goals. After playing from 1991 to 1996 at Geel and from 1996 to 1997 at Genk, Goor attracted the attention of Anderlecht, which signed him in 1997. The midfielder had here two spells (1997-2001 and 2005-2008), playing a total of 228 first league matches and scoring with 42 occasions. At Anderlecht he also won many trophies, including four league titles (2000, 2001, 2006, 2007), one Cup (2008) and four Super Cups (2000, 2001, 2006, 2007).

Between the two periods he experience two departures abroad. First, in Germany at Hertha Berlin, from 2001 to 2004, and after, one season at Feyenoord Rotterdam. No trophy was won with neither team, but his performances here were strong and he became a key man for each team. Despite all this, in Netherlands he did not play more than a year. His 34 games and 7 goals scored in the first league for Feyenoord weren’t enough when he got into a dispute with the technical stuff members. So, he left to play again for Anderlecht.

In 2008 he renounced playing for Belgium and a few months after he even left Anderlecht. He was 35 but a new challenge was on its way: Germinal Beerschot. Naturally, he did not win trophies here, but he could share his experience to younger players. This happen until 2011, when he ended the contract here, but continued playing even though he reached 37 years. Goor moved to Westerlo and appeared in seven league games of the season, in which he also scored once. With a few days before EURO 2012’s begin, the player is nearly 38 but continues to play for the squad.

Photo sources: news.bbc.co.uk, rsca.be, feyenoord.nl, abendblatt.de, bartgoor.com, rediff.com

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